Bid to battle IR35 smashes funding target

The first stage of a potential legal challenge to IR35 in the public sector has smashed its funding campaign target.

The Just Giving page of IT contractor Mike Gibson, who set it up 22 days ago, has attracted donations of more than £11,150, up from the campaign’s stated goal of £10,500.

“Anything we have left over will be used to fund the next stage of the challenge,” he told ContractorUK. “I’m completely overwhelmed that we have hit our target so quickly”. 

Thanks to almost 300 donors, Gibson can now instruct tax barrister Michael Paulin to begin his probing into where the IR35 reforms can be challenged, and on what grounds.

Yesterday however, the contractor was waiting on a brief from IR35 co-challenger Andrew Merritt-Morling, a businessman who is composing the words that will put Mr Paulin to work.

“The barrister will then take the brief and examine, research and analyse it to see which points give us the best opportunity to challenge IR35,” the pair told donors online.

Describing themselves as “incredibly grateful” for the cash contributions, they added: “Thanks a million for all your support -- we couldn’t have got here without you.”

Gibson’s comments come after he admitted that the “awful experiences” that some people on the Just Giving website have clearly gone through gave him pause for thought.

“I had to stop and think -- ‘in comparison to what these people are dealing with, is this IR35 stuff really all that important?” he said.

“Then I reminded myself of some of our own stories that people had sent to me… relationships are breaking down; people are struggling emotionally, people are losing their livelihoods -- even the very roof over their heads -- because of this awful, discriminatory piece of vindictive legislation.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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